I don’t have their picture but I do have their story.
Last week at the hospital in Cotonou, Benin in west Africa we had scheduled 5 patients for cataract surgery. We don’t schedule many because they are just not set up to handle more than a few a day. This is usually pretty frustrating to me. But not that day.
Kim runs a small team of day workers from Cotonou who prepare patients for having cataract surgery. They usually educate about what will happen, what they must do (like hold still!), and what will happen after surgery. One of the team is a local pastor and that day, he decided he must share his story of following Jesus with these 5 patients.
They were all women and all born Muslim. A lot like some of us Christians, they were not really all that serious about it. But then Jesus changed that! 4 of the 5 accepted Jesus just before surgery. I noticed they came into the room smiling and asking God to bless me as I sent them out after the procedure. But I did not know they had made a big change in their life.
The 4 ladies decided they needed to stick together since now they would no longer be accepted! They wanted to come back for follow up together, join a church together, and to encourage each other since their world had changed.
I loved the idea that they saw each other as the way to make this work! Maybe there is something for us to learn here. Hebrews says that we should “encourage each other day after day as long as it is called today lest any of us be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
This is my last blog instalment from Benin as we head home in a few weeks and others will be writing. I pray for these ladies as they begin their journey following the Lord and now with eyesight restored as well! May we be as wise as these Muslim women who saw how important it was to stick together to follow Jesus.